August 25, 2014 at 9:15 AM
EDISON, NJ - Middlesex County College will award $780,000 in scholarships this coming academic year, a 42 percent increase over last year. To date, the Scholarships Office has granted 396 awards to 306 students, with spring 2015 still incomplete.
“There are two reasons for this great news,” said Pam Hedberg, MCC’s scholarship specialist. “First, based on a three-year average of returns, the Foundation authorized that 5 percent of the endowment corpus be distributed as scholarships, 2 percent higher than last year. Plus we have $130,000 for a new program called the Presidential Scholars to help students complete an Associate Degree.”
For many students, an MCC scholarship means the difference between continuing their education and dropping out. For others, it alleviates the need for part-time work and allows more time devoted to study.
“We are seeing more urgency and need for scholarship awards,” Hedberg said. “Stories are heartbreaking in some instances because students understand the importance of a good education in order to succeed in life but financial problems are keeping them from moving forward.”
More and more applicants are coming back to school after a lapse in education or needing to change career paths and they may not qualify for federally funded financial aid. MCC allows applicants to explain their circumstances and they are then carefully considered for scholarships.